You don’t get many chances in life to bitchslap a seal right across its slippery little face. You don’t really encounter them very often outside of the context of an aquarium — but when you seem them there, balancing large rubber balls on their noses and such, you probably become overwhelmed by your desire to crack it in the face with an open palm and tell it to do something with its life. He can rocket through water and catch fish like there’s no tomorrow, yet he’s being fed dead things by a dude whose moist junk imprint graces the crotch of his wetsuit.
When you get this feeling, it’s not out of some sense of animal cruelty – it’s a wake-up call. Slapping a seal out in the wild is a different matter altogether. That’s just straight-up cruel. That seal’s already got his life straightened out. He’s an upwardly mobile business seal on the go with 2.5 baby seals and an 8-hour-a-day desk job fending off sharks. This is the lesson 19-year-old Cameron Cayaban learned when he walked up to a Hawaiian Monk seal on Kalaeloa’s White Plains Beach and slapped the shit out of a seal for fun. The Hawaiian Monk seal, it turns out, is the most endangered of all seals.
Ultimately, though, slapping an endangered animal is not as big a crime as it sounds. Kill it? Sure, that’s like 1 billion years in prison (we may have made up that fact, which wouldn’t really make it a fact at all, now would it?). Slap a seal? That’s a slap on your seal-slapping wrist.
A federal magistrate judge imposed a $50 fine on Cayaban, along with a $25 assessment and a $25 administrative fee. We interpret this ruling as meaning you can slap the most endangered of seals in the face if you’ve got a spare $100 lying around and a couple free minutes to spare. (In this specific case you can probably use old timey slang and call it 100 smackers). A one-day ticket to Disneyworld is $85. Eighty-five dollars gets you a ride on Splashmountain, Spacemountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Dumbo ride, and It’s a Small World. Or, you can slap the shit out of an endangered seal and pay only $15 more. Which one of those makes for a better vacation story?
“I got a picture with Cinderella!”
No one cares. We’ve all got that picture buried deep within our Facebook profiles, right next to that time we stood behind Goofy and pretended we were about to shove one of those large novelty beer funnel-cups in to his butt.
“I slapped a seal for one-hundred dollars!”
Tell me more. I am intrigued. Did the seal say something anti-Semitic, or something else that was equally offensive, that warranted a slapping? Was the seal surprised by the slap? Did the seal respond by boxing your ears repeatedly, much in the same way trained seals are taught to mimic applause? Did the seal have a knife?
I think we’ve finally settled the age-old debate: would you rather slap a seal for $100, or go to Disney for $85?
Scholars can now, officially, move on to less important debates about life, human rights, and infinity.
A grand total of $100 is a strange figure to reach when doling out sentences for seal slappary – and half of it is just court fees. The real fine was only $50. There has to be a law that specifically states striking an endangered animal with an open palm when not being threatened by the animal will cost you $50. If not, than I can only assume the federal magistrate mentioned above was so perplexed by the case that he pulled a number out of his ass and made the kid pay it. If there is such a specifically worded law, then are there similar laws with similarly specific fines that pertain to specific creatures? If you flick a salamander on the head too hard, does a judge slap you with a $17 fine? Seventeen sounds like just the right amount of dollars I should pay for the less-than-heinous act of salamander flicking. If a judge made me pay $20 for flicking a salamander I’d take that case to the U.S. Supreme Court. I’m not paying $20 for flicking a salamander! It’s not like I shoved a goose. If I shoved a goose, sure, yes, I’d pay the $20 – that’s the standard goose-shoving fee. But $17 for a salamander? I’m not paying that. If you think I am, f*ck yourself and that salamander. Little bastard may not have deserved the flick, but he was asking for it.